Royal Society of Sculptors

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Royal British Society of Sculptors
RBS 4.jpg
RBS headquarters at 108 Old Brompton Road
Established1904; 115 years ago (1904)
Clare Burnett
Vice President
Julian Wild

The Royal Society of Sculptors (RSS) is a centre for contemporary sculpture, headquartered on Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London.[1] It is the oldest and largest organisation dedicated to sculpture in the UK.[2]

Established in 1904, RBS is a registered charity, with a selective membership of around 600 professional sculptors, which promotes excellence in the art and practice of sculpture. It aims to inspire, inform and engage people of all ages and backgrounds with sculpture, and to support sculptors’ development of their practice to the highest professional standards.


  • 1905 – Began as the Society of British Sculptors, with 51 sculptor members in its first year[3][4]
  • 1911 – Received royal patronage, and was renamed the Royal Society of British Sculptors[5]
  • 1963 – Gained charitable status in recognition of its educational activities[6]
  • 1976 – Received donation of 108 Old Brompton Rd from the late sculptor Cecil Thomas[7]
  • 2003 – Became Royal British Society of Sculptors in recognition of growing international membership[8]

In 2017 the organisation was renamed the Royal Society of Sculptors.[9]


RBS is an independent artist-led organisation. Its governing body is the elected Council, who are the Trustees of the registered charity (212513) and the Directors of the limited company (83239).


Membership of RBS is selective and the sculptor members of Council meet to review applications and select new members.[10][11] Presidents of the organisation receive the post-nominal letters PRBS. Since 2014 the designation "Associate" of the Society (ARBS) has been replaced by "Member" (MRBS).[12]


Queen Elizabeth II is the Patron of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.[13]


RBS Bursary Awards[edit]

Ten bursaries are awarded each year to emerging sculptors judged to be of outstanding talent and potential. Open to sculptors of any age or nationality, the awards provide opportunities and support to enable them to make the transition to full professional practice. The winners receive free RBS membership for two years and opportunities to exhibit, present talks, apply for residencies, participate in training seminars, attend events and access the RBS mentoring scheme. The bursary awards are supported by the Gilbert Bayes Charitable Trust.[14][15]

Brian Mercer Residencies[edit]

Two annual scholarships for RBS members to experiment with stone or bronze under instruction from master craftsmen in Pietrasanta, Italy. The three-month residencies enable sculptors to learn the technical aspects of the carving or casting process. The awards are fully supported by the Brian Mercer Charitable Trust.[16]


A public art award, designed to offer sculptors an opportunity to extend their practice into competing for public art commissions. Open to all sculptors working in any style.[17]

Sculpture Shock[edit]

Launched in 2013, Sculpture Shock encourages surprising site-specific spatial interventions in non-traditional spaces outside the confines of a gallery. Three sculptors are awarded £3,000 and a three-month residency in Kensington. The artists then exhibit in one of three environments: Subterranean (the unseen world underneath the city), Ambulatory (without physical confines in movement through space and time) and Historic (an illustrious building in London). Sculpture Shock is supported by private philanthropists.[18]

Otto Beit medal[edit]

For many years the RBS awarded the Otto Beit medal, named after and funded by the philanthropist Sir Otto Beit.[19] Winners of the medal include

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Oliver Gili (7 March 2008). "Steel at The Royal British Society of Sculptors". Londonist. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  2. ^ Public Art Scotland. "Companies: Royal British Society of Sculptors". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ Dennis Wardleworth (2013). "William Reid Dick, Sculptor". Ashgate. p. 39. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  4. ^ Galería Aina Nowack, Madrid (November 2014). "Noticias: "LO" miembro de la Royal British Society of Sculptors".
  5. ^ Dr. Emmanuel Minne. "A brief history of the society from 1904 to the present". University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  6. ^ Open Charities: A new project to open up the UK Charities Register. "Royal British Society of Sculptors". Online database. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  7. ^ Victoria and Albert Museum (2014). "Leonard Walker (1879–1965)". V&A Search the Collections (online database). Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  8. ^ Charity Commission. "212513 – Royal British Society of Sculptors: Other Names". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951 (2011). "Royal Society of British Sculptors – Rules". University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  11. ^ Selma Stern (2003). "The UK's Sculptural Newcomers". NY Arts Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  12. ^ Royal British Society of Sculptors > Past Members Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  13. ^ University of Leicester. "Works of Art in Creation – Watch Sculptors As They Create Their Exhibits at University of Leicester Botanic Garden". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  14. ^ Degree Art (2014). "RBS Bursary Award". Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  15. ^ Aesthetica Magazine (2014). "Interview with Sculptor Hollie Mackenzie". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  16. ^ Time Out (2014). "Brian Mercer Residencies: Ed Jones And Richard Stone". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  17. ^ Tom Flynn (3 February 2009). ""Huh? Wow!"- New UK Public Sculpture Prize Awarded". The Art Key.
  18. ^ Christopher Williams (19 April 2013). "Art News: Sculpture Shock: Subterranean art from David Ogle". Telegraph.
  19. ^ Artist Biographies: British and Irish Artists of the 20th Century. "Royal British Society of Sculptors". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  20. ^ "From out notebook: Michael Clark's "Assumption"". The Tablet. 26 November 1960.
  21. ^ Public Sculpture of Sussex. "Michael Clark – Biography". University of Brighton. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  22. ^ "Family Group". Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  23. ^ David Buckman (8 October 2004). "Michael Rizzello: Portrait sculptor and coin designer". The Independent – Obituaries.
  24. ^ Anne Mayhew (2013). "Karl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection: Elza Mayhew (1916–2004)". University of British Columbia. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  25. ^ Public Monuments & Sculpture Association. "National Recording Project: Mother and Child". Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  26. ^ Humberto Rasi (March 1983). "Parables In Stone – An Interview With Alan Collins" (PDF). These Times. p. 3. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  27. ^ "Noordhoek, Henry Cecil". Canadian Heritage Information Network. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  28. ^ Public Monuments & Sculpture Association. "National Recording Project: Anne Boleyn". Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  29. ^ David Buckman (16 November 2009). "A. John Poole: Sculptor, letter-cutter and restorer whose love of architecture informed his monumental works". The Independent – Obituaries.
  30. ^ Daily Express (1997). "Ipswich Sculpture Trail". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  31. ^ Public Monuments & Sculpture Association. "National Recording Project: Oracle". Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  32. ^ Landscape Institute (2011). "Case Studies: Stevenage Town Centre Gardens". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  33. ^ ArtParks International. "John Mills Sculptor Profile". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  34. ^ The John Bunting Foundation (2012). "Royal British Society of Sculptors". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  35. ^ Saint Edmund’s Catholic Church. "Saint Edmund's Calne: The church: Seán Crampton". Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  36. ^ National Galleries of Scotland. "David Annand: Biography". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  37. ^ The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. "Alastair R Ross CSTJ RSA RGI FRBS FSA HFRIAS DArts". Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  38. ^ Terry Wyke & Harry Cocks (2004). "Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester". Liverpool University Press. p. 438.
  39. ^ The Horsham Society (April 2005). "The sculpture of Lorne McKean & Edwin Russell". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  40. ^ Public Sculpture of Sussex. "Philip Jackson – Biography". University of Brighton. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  41. ^ Debrett's. "Robert Simon ERSKINE – Biography". Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  42. ^ Royal Academy of Arts. "Profile: Ann Christopher RA". Retrieved 23 January 2015.

Coordinates: 51°29′29″N 0°10′45″W / 51.4913°N 0.1793°W / 51.4913; -0.1793